Brad Person '89
Our ideas of what we want to be “when we grow up” often change mid-stream. That was true for Brad Person, who attended MA in grades 7-12. MA strengthened his Christian walk and faith with friendships that merged at school, at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis, and at Covenant Pines Bible Camp. After MA, Brad went to Bethel University and majored in business. Upon graduation, he started his career in the tech industry. But then, he discovered his true calling by simply being in an MA friend’s wedding. He brought along a point and shoot film camera and took pictures. When he gave the couple the prints, they told him “We just paid thousands of dollars to a photographer for our wedding pictures, and your pictures are just as good!” He had no idea that he had that gift, or that he could make a decent living doing it! He realized he had a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, so he put together a portfolio, left his full-time job, and started telling everyone he was pursuing photography. The jobs started to come in. At first, he shot sports and weddings—and then landed a position as one of primary photographers for University of Minnesota athletics.
In 2004, the Luis Palau festival was slated to come to Minneapolis. Luis Palau is a Latin American evangelist who has shared the message of the love of Jesus Christ with millions of people in over 70 countries through large events that include music, and a gospel message. Grace Church in Eden Prairie, where Brad attended, was one of the early supporters of the festival. In preparing for the Minneapolis festival, Luis’s team asked Grace Church if there were any professional photographers who could volunteer. Brad’s name was mentioned, and the rest is history. After volunteering for the Twin Cities festival, where 250,000 people heard the Good News on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol, Palau hired Brad to do photography for all their major events. Brad has since traveled to over 40 countries with Luis and his team, “documenting what the Lord is doing around the world.” Through those trips, Luis became both a close friend and mentor to Brad.
In 2017, Brad and a business partner asked Luis if he would be interested in doing a biographical film on his early life growing up in Argentina. He agreed. Brad became a producer of this film, called “PALAU the Movie.” It premiered in theaters across the US and Latin America in April 2019 to large audiences and rave reviews. The timing was incredible, as Luis was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in late 2017 just as filming was beginning. PALAU the Movie is an inspirational story of God being willing to use anyone. Luis was ‘discovered’ on the street as a teenager preaching in Argentina. His father died when he was 10, and he is the oldest of six siblings. The story is about his early life and details how Palau fully submitted his life to the Lord and became a widely recognized international evangelist. Brad will share this film and his producing experiences with the filmmaking class at MA soon. You can find out more about the film at www.palauthemovie.com.
Brad’s documentary photographs and footage have appeared in international media outlets including CNN, ABC, CBS, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, China Daily, Fox News, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and many others. Brad is also a media consultant to ministries and business leaders, and has co-founded several media companies.
To The Students
What is Brad’s advice to current students? “Invest in your education, and invest in relationships as much as you can, because those will continue throughout your life. The relationships you form are the most important part of the educational experience. Ask the Lord what HE wants you to do. Ultimately your life is His--and His plans for you are perfect. Photography and media were not on my radar at all until my mid 20’s. Listen to the Lord, ask for his guidance, and He will direct your steps for His purposes and glory.”